SSP-East Mahesar shown the door for ‘serious misconduct’

Updated November 26, 2019

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The Sindh police on Monday removed SSP-East Ghulam Azfar Mahesar from his post on charges of “serious misconduct” and asked the chief secretary to surrender his services to the federal government. — AFP/File
The Sindh police on Monday removed SSP-East Ghulam Azfar Mahesar from his post on charges of “serious misconduct” and asked the chief secretary to surrender his services to the federal government. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh police on Monday removed SSP-East Ghulam Azfar Mahesar from his post on charges of “serious misconduct” and asked the chief secretary to surrender his services to the federal government.

Tanveer Alam Odho, a PSP officer of BS-19, has been posted as the new SSP-East. He was currently serving as the principal of the Elite Police Training Centre, Razzaqabad.

SSP Mahesar and his team came under the spotlight after the video of a suspected hitman — in which he was seen claiming to have met Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while in Rangers’ captivity in 2017 — went viral hours after Mr Mahesar announced his arrest at a press conference and claimed that he was involved in 96 murders, mostly committed in the 1990s.

However, the startling claim made by the suspect, Yusuf alias Thelewala, in the video forced Karachi police chief Additional Inspector General Ghulam Nabi Memon to set up an inquiry committee.

Questions remain about suspected hitman Thelewala’s claims

“I am directed to refer to the subject cited above and to state that the services of retired Capt Ghulam Azfar Mahesar, PSP (BS-19) presently posted as SSP Dist/East, Karachi Range are no more required for Sindh Province/Sindh Police due to serious misconduct,” said a notification issued by the Additional IG-Est­ablishment of the Sindh police.

“It is therefore requested that the services of above officer may kindly be surrendered to Esta­blishment Division, Government of Pakistan, Isla­mabad, in the interest of government work.”

Last week’s episode sent ripples both in security administration and political circles. On his part, CM Shah denied the very next day any link with the suspected hitman and called the video a “conspiracy” hinting at knowing those behind it.

“I don’t know him and have never met him. But under a conspiracy a spoon-fed statement of the accused has been recorded on a mobile phone in which Thelewala has taken my name,” he had said.

Unanswered questions

The city police chief the same day set up the three-member committee headed by DIG-East Amir Farooqi and comprising Special Investigation Unit SSP Nauman Siddiqi, SSP-Investigation (Central) Tariq Nawaz and SSP-Investigation (East) Irfan Zaman.

An official said that the committee investigated as to how, where and who made the video of the held suspect and what was its authenticity.

“Yusuf was first arrested in 1996 and again in 1998. He was released on parole in 2003 in one criminal case because he was not wanted in other cases at that time. The committee also looked into whether there was any negligence on part of the police for not arresting the suspect during all these years,” he added.

Apparently the mystery has been resolved within a week, but left a couple of questions unanswered including about the authenticity of the suspect’s claim that he met the CM in the custody of Pakistan Rangers, Sindh.

Another one was about the motive behind such a “conspiracy”, as Murad Ali Shah termed it, seemingly hatched by some person(s) in the Sindh police against the chief executive of their own province.

“We at first place ordered a transparent inquiry,” Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani told Dawn when contacted. “It’s not because he levelled allegations against the CM [that] we ordered a probe or [took] action against a police officer. Every sensible man can understand that it was rubbish to allege that the CM went to meet him [the suspect] when he was under the custody of Rangers.

“We all need to know what is the motive behind this false statement and who directed this episode. I hope the police committee would have covered this aspect as well,” he added.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019